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Photonics Worldwide – This is my Lab

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In this edition of the “Photonics Worldwide – This is my Lab” column, we would like to introduce you to Yijie Tao and Archana T C from Australia and India, respectively. Yijie Tao’s work focuses on the design and development of the next-generation optical crosshaul architecture for future mobile networks at Melbourne University, Australia. Archana is working on the use of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) embedded FBG sensors for strain sensing and its ultimate use for gait analysis for elderly people at IIITDM Kancheepuram, India. The IEEE Photonics newsletter team extends best wishes to these budding researchers for successful research careers.

If you are a Ph.D. student or an early career researcher and would like the opportunity to be featured in this column, please reach out to me.

Dr. Amol Delmade (amol.delmade2@gmail.com)

My name is Yijie Tao and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Radio-over-Fiber research group within the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Before starting my Ph.D., I undertook a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering in Melbourne. I have always been fascinated by the enormous scale internet and the complexity of the modern communication network system, while my Bachelor’s study helped to develop a strong interest in physics. This combination of interests led me to pursue research in the field of optical networking. At the end of my master’s studies, I had the opportunity to participate in a summer research project with Prof. Christina Lim, who is a world-renowned expert in radio-over-fiber systems and optical networking. The exciting and fruitful project experience motivated me further to pursue PhD research in the field of optical networking under Prof. Lim’s supervision.

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My Ph.D. research focuses on the design and development of the next-generation optical crosshaul architecture for future mobile networks. The optical crosshaul is a crucial segment in the modern mobile communication network, responsible for connecting the wireless access network to the core optical network. My work aims to address the crosshaul’s need to become more reconfigurable, intelligent and efficient. A large part of my work involves developing simulation models for the various optical transport formats for the crosshaul and using the developed simulation framework to study different crosshaul control and configuration mechanisms. I am hopeful that my work will provide important insight into the design of future crosshaul architecture and the developed simulation framework will be shaped into a useful platform for the general optical networking community.

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I am Archana T C, a Ph.D. scholar at the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM) Kancheepuram, Chennai, India. IIITDM Kancheepuram is an institute of national importance specializing in designing and manufacturing and has multiple research labs working in the field of photonics. Before this, I completed Bachelor of Technology and Master of Technology degrees from the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) Thiruvananthapuram and Govt. Model Engineering College Kochi, respectively. I have always been intrigued by the use of colorful lights in electronic devices since my childhood, however, my first hands-on experience in the field of photonics came during my Bachelor’s group project on photoresistors and color filters. My fascination for tiny electronics and lighting devices led me to pursue an internship with the Semiconductor Laboratory (SCL) Chandigarh, while a photonics-based Bachelor’s final year project motivated me to pursue master’s studies in Optoelectronics and Communication systems. For my master’s project, I got an opportunity to work on fiber optic hydrophones at the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO. It provided me with hands-on training on various optical components and knowledge of the various optical fiber-based sensors. The vast applications of optical fiber sensors along with their advantages and scope for improvement motivated me to pursue a Ph.D. in the domain.

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My Ph.D. research at the Fiber Optic Sensing Laboratory (FOSL) under the supervision of Assistant Professor Dr. Srijith K, focuses on embedded Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) based sensors for biomedical applications. FBGs need to be embedded with a harmless, non-toxic, and biocompatible material for temperature and strain sensing for biomedical applications. I’m studying the use of Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) as an embedding material for FBG sensors and exploring the ways for its ultimate use for gait analysis sensing in elderly persons. Gaint analysis is important to detect abnormalities in body movements, especially for elderly persons with reduced mobility and I’m hopeful that my research will help them. In June 2023, I had an opportunity to attend the 10th Annual Siegman International School on Lasers organized by Optica in Ireland. The Siegman School provided a great platform for me to learn about the different types of lasers and their applications in my area of research. I got the network and connect with young photonics researchers and enthusiasts from across the globe.  In the end, I believe that my Ph.D. research will contribute to enhancements in the field of healthcare for the elderly in India and across the globe and motivate budding researchers in the field of photonics.